2 Tibetan monks die in China after self-immolations


Tibetan Buddhist monks leave a ceremony at the historic Labrang Monastery, which is second only to the Potala Palace in Lhasa in size, in the town of Xiahe, Gansu Province on March 14, 2008.



Two Tibetan monks have died after self-immolating, setting themselves on fire in China's southern province of Sichuan on Wednesday.

The monks, reportedly identified as 20-year-old Lobsang Dawa and 23-year-old Konchog Woeser, set themselves alight at the Kirti monastery in Aba county, which has been central to protests against Beijing's policies in Tibet.

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"Their bodies were then taken to the monastery shortly after the incidents, where traditional Buddhist prayer services are held by monks," said Kanyak Tsering, a media coordinator for the monastery.

The two young monks were said to have spent most of their lives at the monastery, which is home to more than 700 Buddhists. The facility has been under Chinese guard since early 2011 after Beijing seized more than 300 monks from the monastery in response to a similar self-immolation.

In a separate protest on Tuesday afternoon, a young Tibetan woman also died after self-immolating in Sichuan's Rangtang, or Dzamthang, county.

"All the Tibetans who resort to self-immolation do so because they feel they have no other way to make China and the world listen to their country's call for freedom," Free Tibet director Eleanor Byrne-Rosengren said of the latest protests.

Over 100 monks, nuns and their supporters have self-immolated in Tibet and its regions since February 2009, when China began to crack down on protests against Chinese rule.